|The Diary of Anne Frank™|
“What do you mean?” Stewart asked.
Again referring to Pilkington, Gervais said, “[He] thought she was a squatter. He said, ‘I knew she lived in a cupboard but I thought that was to keep away from the landlord.’”
Cracking up, Gervais added, “I had to explain the landlord in this situation were the Nazis.”
“Does Karl really think a whole industry would crop up over someone who was hiding from a landlord? Why would we still know about it? Why would there be movies?”
Gervais: “I didn’t know how far back I had to go to explain about the war and the Nazis. I’ve been to Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam and it’s tiny,” he said, pausing. “So I don’t know why they didn’t find her earlier to be honest. It’s terrible! But Nazis must be stupid! Really? Everyday they went in, didn’t one of them say, ‘Can we look upstairs today Sargeant?’”
Stewart, now visibly horrified, replied: “She didn’t live in a Nazi’s house…”
“No, but they were looking for her so…” Gervais interjected.
“But they didn’t come in everyday and go…” Stewart began, defensively. Then even he suspected he was walking a dangerous line. “You should read the book,” Stewart said. “It’s very.. its… good!”
“That’s what I mean,” Gervais shouted. “She had time to write a book! Did they go, ‘What’s that tapping? Move on, it’s just mice. I can hear something Sarg!’.. it’s ridiculous!”
Stewart is still defensive.
“The Nazis in general, did not go… it’s not like Halloween everyday [when] the Nazis came by and they would knock and go, ‘Any Jews today?’ She lived with a family that was harboring… people would harbor Jewish people, and protect them, but the Nazis wouldn’t do like bedchecks.”
Gervais gets the message and backpedals. “Say what you want,” he says to Stewart, “but I think the Nazis are useless—that’s what I’m saying.”
“Well you’re not gonna get a lot of pushback from me on that,” Stewart concedes, but then he goes back to being serious. “It’s more the logistics of what happened. It’d be like just describing other things that way, you know, ‘They should have done with Jesus, just not put him up on that wood, that was the trouble!’ We need a contextualizing of the historic [reality]...”
Freelance writer anonymous is not happy and writes an open letter
Dear Ricky Gervais:
Can you maybe start to leave Anne Frank out of your comedy routines? When did the Holocaust diarist become a subject for mirth?
Yes, that Anne Frank -- the teenage girl who became a symbol of the Holocaust. The claustrophobic years in hiding. The terrible mystery of betrayal, the horrific last weeks, dying of typhoid in a concentration camp. The poignant way in which her diary was found, its restoration to her father, all that was left of a sensitive, intelligent talented child, all that remained of his entire family.
Good subject for a joke, eh, Ricky?
As you might know, and if you don't, let me remind you: In 2009, the BBC received complaints about a quip by the comedian David Mitchell. “What was the last entry in Anne Frank’s diary?” he asked on a Radio Four game show. “It’s my birthday, and dad bought me a drum kit.”
Funny? You guys probably thought so.
Ricky, you've got your own Anne Frank gag now, too -- anyone can view it on YouTube. True, you were attacking the Nazis' stupidity, but did you have to use Anne for the foil? The Nazis were dumb, you say, because they didn't think of looking upstairs, even with the tapping of the typewriter. They mistook that for rats. Then: “She had time to write a novel, mind you, it ends a bit abruptly. No sequel. Lazy.”
What makes comedians feel Anne Frank is an acceptable subject for humor?
Why did even Joan Rivers once include in her act (and I have the video) a joke about Anne fantasizing about having sex with the Nazis downstairs? Why does a BBC producer decide to broadcast Mr. Mitchell’s witticism when presumably it would censor a more obvious genocide gag?
What has happened to us all?
According to writer Keren David, it's because "Anne Frank’s story has become the accessible face of the Holocaust. Her diary lacks its true ending. Had she written about the reality of the camps, the starvation, cruelty and disease, she would have a different place in the culture, and most probably her book would not have been so successful. ''
David, a Brit, adds: "Maybe because telling jokes is a way of mastering the things which scare us. Watch Ricky Gervais’ body language on YouTube. His flippant voice tells one story, his hunched shoulders and cringing demeanour tells another. He’s not laughing at Anne. He’s laughing at prats who think they can tell jokes about the Holocaust [industry].''
The fine line between funny and offensive, of course, is one that TV comedy show producers should be able to judge. It seems though they sometimes put as much thought into matters of taste and context as a Twittering teenager.
So enough already, Ricky. It's time to grow up and throw your genteel British anti-Semitic snark away. In the gutter. Where it belongs.
The term antisemitism was invented by non Semites for the purpose of the holocaust ™ and the real genocide planned for the Muslims.